Spread Smile Series # 2

Smile

There she is! With her rocket science!

If that is what you are thinking, I wouldn’t blame you. All are aware that smiling is the best way to spread smiles. But how many of us really smile? Oh no! Not at our friends, but at people in general?

An Anecdote

I was once waiting for my sister on my Lavy. The road was narrow and there was no place to keep my scooter. So I had kept it as close to the wall as possible thinking I’ll move it when the need arises. As I sat there, a car came and by the time I could move my vehicle, the honking had begun. The impatience was at the highest when the men inside started screaming at the top of their voices, shouting obscenities. I have a soft voice. I can shout but it will not be heard above the average voices. Reasoning with them was impossible. I somehow used all the energy in me and shouted back asking them to speak with respect and that I was anyway moving the vehicle.

People learn certain things from home, some from neighborhood and the rest from what they see around them. Here, during circumstances like this, I have ALWAYS noticed that people behave very rudely. Where a conversation or a request could easily get them through, they use abuses, make things complicated and then get their things done.

Why this hostility?

I, at times used to speak rudely to strangers and I realized I got this habit from people like them. They must have learnt this similarly and everyone thinks this is how you speak to strangers. Because, we have been taught from childhood to be careful with strangers, to keep them at bay and that we don’t have to respect them!

I appreciate the sentiments behind it. Do not give sensitive information to strangers. Be careful while striking conversation with strangers. But a simple smile, gives nothing away. Just smile. When people begin with smiling, the warmth will spread. How will you shout at a person when you are used to smiling at people? Now, I wouldn’t say it is easy. Here are some things you might need to keep in mind:

  • If you are not used to smiling at strangers, it will take time to give your genuine smile. It’s because you are already wondering what others will think. They are strangers! It doesn’t matter what they think. Keep up the smile. The genuine smile will come with practice.
  • When you smile, ensure that they have made eye contact with you and then smile.
  • Many aren’t used to smiling to strangers. So, when you smile at them, some of them will be in a state of shock. Some of them might look at you suspiciously. They may not smile back. Don’t get discouraged. I used to get discouraged and went back to my rude mode. Again, I resumed trying. 🙂
  • Some people think that if you smile at them, you probably know them. If they ask you so, don’t panic. Simply keep smiling and tell them you don’t. (Er, if you don’t know them, that is)

So what do you do from today?

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Keep up that smile of yours forever. Let us spread smiles together. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Meanwhile, hope you are still appreciating whenever you find something nice. If you don’t know what I am talking about, click here.

If you want to be a part of this series, you can take this up, write a post on the same, spread the word and feel free to use the image above. Let us #SpreadSmiles together.

Spread Smiles Series # 1

To know about the series, click Here

Appreciation – An Anecdote

I read a book named ‘How to Make Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie around 11 years back. Among many useful things, I learnt that ‘Appreciating’ people was important.

I walked into my workplace and saw someone wearing a nice shirt. I went to him, smiled and said,

“Hey! Nice shirt! It looks good on you.”

We were mere acquaintances until then. But from then on, we became friends. I wasn’t bluffing when I said about the shirt. I felt so and said genuinely.

Why Appreciate?

Many of us see something nice and think to ourselves about how beautiful it is. Something stops us from voicing out our feelings. We know that it gives them immense pleasure when we appreciate them. Yet, somethings like ‘Will they think I’m trying to attract their attention? What if he thinks too highly of himself?’ refrain us from saying it aloud. How will you know the person if you haven’t spoken to him yet?

Besides, the point is to appreciate without expecting anything in return. We do not lose anything by appreciating. So, let us do it. Whether we gain a friendship or more, we will know with time.

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Later…

A month after I began to appreciate, I received them in return. People began telling me how I looked beautiful that day, how my dress looked good, how they liked my hairstyle and never to wear that top again, it sucks! 😀 Yeah that too! For, a strong bond had formed.

The place rang with appreciations and mockery and we had become one huge family. I don’t take all the credits. Surely not. But, the appreciation part, the difference was right there before my eyes. 🙂

If you want to be a part of this series, you can take this up, write a post on the same, spread the word and feel free to use the image above. Let us spread smiles together.

Adding this to my 100 Happy Days Challenge – Day 83 because happiness is doing your share to spread smiles. 

16 Tips to Make Your Year Productive II

Fed up of making resolutions and dropping midway? Then chuck resolutions and prepare a set of achievable and interesting goals. By goals I mean, all those one time things you have always wanted to do.

The list is not exhaustive. You can read the first part of the post here and after reading the rest, decide on how you wish to make a difference in your life this year.

8. Own a Pet – I know lots of pet lovers who have always wanted pets, but never really got to owning them. I love dogs. But due to certain personal reasons, I can’t have one right now. So I have decided on owning a fish once I get a job. It took me a while to realise that this was an option. And here I am telling you, if you can’t own a cat or dog, you have other options – birds, fishes, a beautiful flower bearing plant. I know that the last one isn’t a pet. But keeping one in your room, watering it and watching it bloom isn’t a bad idea after all. A friend of mine did it last year with a marigold. 🙂 You know what? You should so name the plant!
Guys name her Cameron Diaz and say, guess who is waiting for me 😉
Girls name him Dwayne Johnson and say, Oh! The Rock needs me. Gotta go.
I bet you, the Harry Potter fans will name the plant Mathhew Lewis (Neville) or Tom Felton (Draco) 😉
Or they could name him Dobby and whisper threateningly, “Dobby! Get out of my room, now!”

Er… I got carried away. Moving on…

9. Take up a Charitable Activity – There are many kind-hearted people who wish to do something charitable and make a difference. Some do not have the time, some forget, some fear that their hard earned money may be misused. I’d say that we cannot understand the joy of doing something that makes someone happy until we do it personally.Go to an orphanage and mingle with the children. Go to an old-age home and give those aged people your time. Instead of giving in cash, give gifts and most importantly love to the aged and they will see their son/daughter in you. If you feel up to it, add this to your goals list so that you feel a bit more happy at the end of the year.

10. Go Somewhere Alone – I barely do this and I want to do it. And so, I have reason to believe that there are others like me. If you really wish to try this out, start with a place nearby. Go and spend some alone time there and then try a new place the next time. If you still feel like experimenting, do it as many times as you want until you are convinced about yourself. You will learn that you either despise the alone time or that the alone time is growing on you. 🙂 This is how you know yourself.

Walk with Yourself
Walk with Yourself

11. Write Letters –  Have you experienced that surge of happiness when you find a hand written letter delivered to you? There are no intimations that say ‘typing…’, there are no blue ticks involved, no pressures to reply asap. You never know what or when or from whom you’d receive a letter. It is a piece of paper touched, held, and sealed by the writer personally. It carries his smell, the fingerprints, the imprint of pen & ink due to the pressure applied by him, and it is written earnestly since there is no hurry to reply asap. No blue ticks that urges him to write because the recipient knows that he has read the latter’s letter already. Write letters without forcing the recipient to reply fast. :)Sometimes, it will become a habit and this will be the year you began writing letters

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12. For Creators – Whether you are a painter, writer, musician or a creator in general, you will have plans to create more this year. But it is possible that after a while the urge wares off and then you leave it. Make it a point to create something every month. At the end of the year, you have twelve of your masterpieces.

Hang a planner in your room and decide on what you will create. Carry a notepad around and jot down the ideas as and when they appear in your head. When you have free time and lack ideas, refer the planner & the notepad and create something beautiful. Don’t let the moss drown your talents.

13. Invest in Something You have Always Dreamt of Owning – If you aren’t interested in traveling, reading or shopping, point 1 could be used here. Is there something really expensive you have always wanted? Expensive things take time to reach you. You might be waiting for ‘some day’ when you will have all the money to own it. Instead, start now. Be it your dream house, car, instrument or an expensive course, start saving for it now! Let the dream turn into reality starting 2016.

14. Experiment! Body Art, Piercing, Hair Highlighting, weird hair styles – We have our body to experiment on. As long as it isn’t anything harmful, experimenting is fun. I’d like some ink, purple hair highlights & a couple more of ear piercings. What about you?

I know many friends who want to get tattoos & hair colors but refrain from them due to pressure from home. The most common reason I get is, ‘What if the guy I’m to get married to doesn’t like it?’

Here is what I have to say. If you want a tattoo, get one. If you don’t want, don’t get one. If someone else wants, it’s their right, let them have it their way.

15. Waiting for Someone Else’s Happiness – All the while, I was talking about our own happiness. There are those wonderful moments when something lovely happens to someone else and we are as happy as they are; A friend finally getting married or committed, a sibling or friend becoming a parent, someone getting a new job or their first salary, sibling graduating and much more. If this is the year that brings happiness to someone special, make note of it. Look forward to it. By the end of the year, you will definitely have some wonderful things to look back to.

16. Finally, For Those Who Cannot Find Enough Time – This is for really busy folks. I suppose you can find some time twelve times a year. Make a minimal & practicable list of things you’d like to achieve. Preferably twelve of them. If you have reading a book, traveling, meeting a friend in your list, according to your schedule, allocate a month for each activity and make it a point to stick to them. Even if you change the order of the plan, ensure that you keep doing something different every month. You will have a memorable year in the end. 🙂 For those who cannot afford twelve things, you can settle for six goals to be achieved over two months each.

You can have goals for anything below the sun, above the Earth and beyond. There is no end. I have prepared a very tiny list that pretty much accommodates the most common goals. It is just to give you an idea. Hope 2016 brings with it a lot of experiences and memories. Hope you keep yourselves busy, peppy & productive throughout the year; And when you look back in the end, I hope you have most of the items ticked from your ‘To-do’ list.

So what are you waiting for? It is already 15th of Jan. Convert your resolutions to goals. If you have more vibrant items to be added to this list, please let me know in the comments. We have many more years to come and I could do with more ideas and goals. 🙂